Wednesday, September 24, 2014

BEING MYSELF IS OK Letter 15 September 2014

Dear Family, First of all I can't tell you how much I love getting letters! I just LOVE it! I'll start with this morning. Sister Reese and I got up, did our exercises, and then she hopped in the shower. I put my sheets in the wash and then decided that I would sweep the kitchen while I waited for my turn to take a shower. I finished sweeping, and as I was putting the broom away I spotted a bucket and mop. Now I was getting excited! I'm pretty sure that this floor has not been mopped in quite some time, and plus, there was a bucket! How cool is that! So I got the mop and bucket out, rinsed out the bucket, and then rummaged around under the sink for some cleaning supplies. I found a bottle of bacon grease under there! GROSS! It looked so disgusting. Sister Clayson (Sister Reese's last companion) loved bacon, so I'm guessing the bottle of grease was her doing. It was really gross. Anyway, I found some pinesol and filled up my bucket and mopped the floor. I had so much fun! It was weird. Then I realized that there is some linoleum as you come in the door. Just a little rectangle in front of the door. So I grabbed my broom and mop and bucket and got to work. Man, did I get a pile of dirt. I couldn't believe it! I don't know if that little patch has ever been cleaned. Well, I gave it a good polish today. After sweeping and mopping I got the vacuum and vacuumed the living room. The vacuum we have is pretty crummy. Last week when I vacuumed, I had to crawl around on my hands and knees and pick up all the stuff that the vacuum had missed. I couldn't help but laugh. We just got back from shopping with Jenny. She is a member of the YSA ward and she gave us a ride to Walmart today. Walmart is HUGE here! It's like the place to go. Anyway, it was actually really fun. Jenny is so cute, I just love her. So we had fun shopping with her, and then we stopped off at Andy's for some frozen custard. I had vanilla with peanut butter cups. Roll your eyes all you want, Dad, it was so good. We stopped at Jenny's house on the way back to the apartment so that we could sit on her couch. Apparently her couch is a thing. Everyone was raving about how comfortable it is, and they were right. It was AMAZING. Oh, funny story from Walmart. So we were just getting to the end of the veggie aisle, minding our own business, when suddenly a few boxes of Gatorade just decided that they were tired of keeping their bottles under control and let them burst out and all over the floor. We went over and started picking them up. A Walmart employee showed up on the scene and said, "Wouldn't you know. It's the sister missionaries." As if it was all our fault. Yeah, he was a member giving us a hard time. It was funny. So on Saturday we only had one appointment scheduled. Pretty depressing. So we did lots of tracting. Luckily it wasn't too hot. It was perfect tracting weather. We decided to go visit a couple of members who hadn't been to church in a while. Unfortunately, they lived a ways away and we didn't have a ride. So, off we set. We took a shortcut across campus and said hi to a bunch of people, but couldn't talk to anyone because we aren't allowed to proselyte on campus. I guess there was one guy who stopped and talked to us. His name was Steven and he asked for our card and we got his phone number and everything, but in all honesty I think it was just because we were girls. Not sure he quite understood what we do as missionaries. Haha. So that probably won't go anywhere, but I guess we'll see. You never know who is ready for the gospel. In all our tracting and OTMing though we did get to talk to a girl named Chelsea, and I am of the opinion that she is one of those golden investigators that every missionary dreams about. On our way back from visiting with a less active member we were walking down the street and spotted someone sitting outside an apartment next to a little maroon barbecue. I actually thought she was a guy at first. She had on those really long, baggy shorts, and a gangster ball cap thing. I suggested that we go and see if we could talk to her. So over we went and asked if she knew where Kentwood Ave was. It started up an awesome conversation and we were able to talk about families and church. I guess she used to go to a church but hasn't been able to go for a while, for lack of a ride. She said she would be really interested in coming to our church and learning more. We left her with a Book of Mormon, a pamphlet, and a prayer, as well as the OK to come back and talk to her more. Woohoo! I hope it all works out. After that we got to see a really cool house. It was brick with white trim and it had a bunch of rust-red chairs on the front porch, with all kinds of fall decorations. AND there was a really old white upright piano just sitting out there as well. It was so cool looking! We tried to knock on the door and tell them that we loved their house, but they wouldn't open the door. Oh well. We headed to McDonalds, where Angela picked us up for a lesson with Anthony. After our lesson she took us out to dinner to a Japanese place. I had sushi! That's right. Do I have courage or what?! It was actually pretty good. When we got back to the apartment that night there were a ton of parties in progress. Apparently, MSU had just had their first football game of the season and they won, so lots of parties. There was a firework display too. I ran outside to try and see it, but I was too late. The Fourth all over again! All I caught was the smoke. I loved what you said in your letter, Mom, about being myself. That's something I have to remember sometimes, that even as I represent Jesus Christ I can still be, and should be, myself. I have really felt more myself the last couple days since coming into the mission field. I think the combination of being a missionary, being out in the field, with and around people, I don't know, has kind of made me curl up into myself. But the last couple days, especially yesterday at church, I was able to just be myself, giving myself and others a hard time, and having fun as I worked. It felt so good. We were teaching Jackie a lesson after the CES broadcast, and Matt (He is a member of the bishopric. He just got called last week. The reason I want to call him Matt is because he just got married about 3 months ago, so everyone in the ward knows him and calls him Matt. It's pretty cool having someone so young in the bishopric) or I guess I should call him De La Fuente, came into the room to get some of his stuff. "Oops, sorry, have people been interrupting you a lot?" he asked. "Yeah," I said, matter-of-factly. He stopped and looked at me with an expression of surprise, shock, horror, apology. I started cracking up and told him I was joking. He looked relieved and started laughing as well. Good times. On Sunday Sister Reese and I had an amazing training session. We were talking about the fundamental 'teach people, not lessons.' I struggle with this a bit, because I feel like I can only do one or the other. I can either teach the lesson or I can teach to needs. It's so hard to balance that out and teach to needs through the lessons. But I was reminded of something important as we discussed. That is, that the Atonement is the center of everything we do and teach, and the Atonement is all-encompassing, which means that it can meet any need. So that means that as long as I am connecting everything I teach back to the Atonement, and my investigator understands how the Atonement meets their needs, then I can teach the lesson and meet the investigators needs. I just need to help them connect the dots back to the Atonement and help them see how the Atonement applies to them. I hope that made sense. Anyway, it was a great training session and I learned a lot from the spirit. Well, I'd better end. I love you all! Have a great week, or I guess weekend by the time you get this Sing a Fred Astaire song for me! Sister Cryer

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